Young Democrats Prefer Bernie Sanders, New Poll Finds

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Harvard poll finds millennials support sending troops to fight ISIS — just don’t send them.

Millennials, especially those who feel disenchanted about their own future, are gravitating toward outsider presidential candidates, according to a poll released Thursday by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. Islamic militant groups ignored contact attempts from Pakistan-born Tashfeen Malik in the months before she and her husband killed 14 people at a California holiday party, probably because they feared getting caught in a U.S. law enforcement sting, U.S. government sources said on Thursday. Disclosures of her overtures to extremists abroad surfaced as the investigation of the Dec. 2 shooting rampage in San Bernardino, about 60 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles, appeared to take a new turn with divers searching a small lake near the scene of the massacre.

However, only 16 percent of those surveyed said they would be inclined to serve if needed (2 percent said they already joined, 5 percent they would definitely join, and 9 percent said they would “strongly consider” joining). The support for sending troops increased 12 percentage points compared to when Harvard asked the question before the Paris attacks, though it was just a 3-point increase from the respone—57 percent support, 40 percent oppose—when the question was polled in March. While the race or ethnicity of the poll’s respondents didn’t significantly impact the results, the level of education of those questioned did play a role in determining the answer. One source said investigators have little, if any, evidence that Malik or her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, had any direct contact with Islamic State, which has seized control of large swaths of Syria and Iraq and claimed responsibility for assaults in Paris last month that left 130 people dead.

Donald Trump and Ben Carson were leading among young Republicans, with 22 percent and 20 percent respectively, even though a majority of the potential GOP voters considered neither man qualified to be president, according to the survey. (The poll was conducted in late October and early November; since that time, Carson has fallen significantly in other national polls that include all age ranges.) Supporters of both Trump and Sanders have something in common: Most say that the idea of the American dream is dead for them personally, unlike the backers of other candidates. Fifty-six percent of millennials said they preferred that Democrats win the the presidency in 2016, compared to the 36 percent that favored the Republican Party. The poll, taken about a month ago, shows 41 percent of young potential Democratic primary voters support the senator from Vermont, compared to 35 percent for Clinton. Militant groups sought out by Malik likely ignored her approaches because they have become extremely wary of responding to outsiders they do not know or who have not been introduced to them, sources said. Along with candidate choice, the survey found that education level matters — college graduates are 16 percentage points more likely than those who never went to college to say their American dream remains intact.

Still, Della Volpe said Sanders will need to run up bigger numbers with young voters, if he wants to overtake Clinton. “For Sanders to have success on a national basis, he needs to be leading Clinton by a much larger number among young people than he is now,” he said. If the massacre proves to have been the work of killers inspired by Islamic militants, it would mark the deadliest such attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2011. A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Thursday that a team of divers from the FBI and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department was searching the waters of Seccombe Lake Park, about 2-1/2 miles (4 km) north of the Inland Regional Center. Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky, the two Republicans who have made the most overt appeals to young voters, were supported by 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively. The attack by Farook, the U.S.-born son of Pakistani immigrants, and Malik, a Pakistani native he married in Saudi Arabia last year, has heightened security concerns in the United States and become an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Forty-three percent of America’s youth said they support building a wall on the border of the U.S. and Mexico—an idea that’s been pressed especially hard by Trump—with 53 percent saying they oppose the proposal. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and John Mulligan, deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, briefed members of both houses of Congress on Thursday about the investigation in closed, classified sessions. “The current impression is that these two people were acting alone,” U.S.

But he added that he was troubled by the fact that the couple had tried to cover their tracks by destroying their cellphones and other electronic equipment. Representative Bob Goodlatte, Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters afterward that there were people in the community who saw suspicious activity at the shooters’ house but decided not to tell authorities “for a variety of reasons.” The motives of Farook and Malik remain unclear. In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa said Malik had listed a false address in Pakistan that screeners did not catch. Investigators also have been looking into the relationship between Farook and Enrique Marquez, a boyhood friend and Muslim convert who purchased the two rifles used in the attack. Marquez, who is related to Farook’s family by marriage – his wife and the wife of Farook’s older brother are sisters – has not been charged with any crime. (Additional reporting by Bill Trott in Washington and Alexandria Sage in San Bernardino; Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman)

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